Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: Syrian Refugee Families in Iceland (Award# 1641180)

PI: Dubus, Nicole (
Phone: (408) 924.1400 
Institute/Department: San Jose State University, Global Education and Initiatives 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Anna Kerttula (
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
This award supports data collection on Syrian refugees' experience being accepted by Iceland. The conflict in Syria has added to a global refugee crisis that is one of the largest in history with an estimated 20 million known refugees currently displaced. While Syrian refugees were forced from their country due to war, it is estimated that by the year 2050 potentially 200 million people could be displaced due to environmental change from a warming climate. These changes are not only affecting life-ways around the world but are also influencing the role of nations in these crises. In early 2016, Iceland received Syrian refugee families and placed them in three Icelandic communities. Now is an exceptional time to examine Iceland's reaction and capacity to address forced migration into the Arctic. There is great potential in Iceland to serve as a global model as it determines policies, procedures, and communications among the stakeholders for developing best-practices for addressing the challenges of refugees and forced migration. Providing culturally effective services to a population that continuously changes in country of origin, language needs, health and mental health needs, and cultural experiences will be a significant problem for service providers around the world. Knowledge gained through this research has the potential to provide critical insights other nations facing similar crises. This project will examine service provision to refugees and their families (language services, social services, health services, education, job training) in Iceland. The broader impact of this research project is in its potential to contribute to the development of effective and culturally appropriate services for refugees. The PI will conduct qualitative interviews with refugees and providers twice in a 12-month period starting in the summer of 2016 through the winter of 2017. This project will build on early data collected in the winter of 2016, as Iceland prepared for the arrival of Syrian families. The research was supported by Iceland's Ministry of Welfare that requested the PI of this project, a Fulbright Specialist in refugee resettlement, meet with providers and administrators from welfare, education, health, and other agencies that would be involved in the resettlement of the Syrian refugee families. The PI facilitated discussions on the needs of the service providers and communities who would be receiving refugee families. This project will continue those discussions six months after the Syrian families’ arrival and then 12 months after the arrival. This research has the potential to inform healthcare providers, social service workers and administrators, policy makers, educators, and community agencies on the development of best practices in resettling refugees and forced migrants.

Logistics Summary:
This project will gather data on Syrian refugee families received in three Iceland communities in early 2016. It will assess the integration of these people into Icelandic society and health services. Additionally, it will study the policies and procedures developed by the Icelandic government to respond to the new migrants. A Fulbright Specialist, Dr. Dubus, will conduct qualitative interviews with refugees, members of the Icelandic government, health providers, and nonprofit groups such as the Red Cross. Each of the PI’s two field visits will be for one month: once in the summer of 2016, and then again in the winter (January) of 2017.

All logistics will be organized by the researcher and paid through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2016Iceland - Akureyri08 / 02 / 2016 08 / 10 / 20161
2016Iceland - Hafnarfjordur07 / 20 / 2016 07 / 29 / 20161
2016Iceland - Kopavogur07 / 30 / 2016 08 / 02 / 20161
2017Iceland - Akureyri01 / 23 / 2017 02 / 01 / 20171
2017Iceland - Hafnarfjordur01 / 02 / 2017 01 / 11 / 20171
2017Iceland - Kopavogur01 / 12 / 2017 01 / 22 / 20171

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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "1641180", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1